As many online searchers have probably figured out, Google rolled out a major new feature to search results: Search Plus Your World. This gives logged in users ultra-personal results based on their connections in Google Plus. As the searching web becomes more social, we have to ask, are the personal results served actually the best results?
Are these personal search results what we want?
If our search results are based upon those who we have in Google+ circles, then a major question of authority is risen. I follow a lot of leading and authoritative SEOs in the industry: Danny Sullivan, Rand Fishkin, Andrew Shotland, and many others. When I search Google for something related to SEO, these results will most likely contain articles and web pages that have been shared or +1’d by my circles. Since these people have an enormous following and user interaction, Google finds these people as authorities around a certain subject.
But say, for example (and this is a real life example), that the majority of people in my Google Plus circles are in the SEO industry. I don’t know many of them personally. Many of my personal friends don’t even have Google Plus. So, if I am searching for something completely unrelated to my Google+ following, Google will display results that might not necessarily relate to me. Consider a local search: “pizza”. How are these “personal” results going to benefit me, when none of the people in my Google Plus circles live in my city (Las Vegas)? Andrew Shotland gave us a real life example of how this Search plus Your World can display horrible and non-relevant results.
The Search Plus Your World Conclusion
There are many benefits to the new Google personal update, but there are a lot of factors that can make search results irrelevant. It is my opinion that this is a strategy on Google’s part to get a ton of people to sign up for Google+.
How has your experience in the Search plus Your World results changed how you find information online? Was it good or bad? I’d like to hear any comments or feedback you might have to offer.